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The Button War: A Tale of the Great War
Written by Avi
In 1914, Poland did not really exist as a country, as it had been partitioned in 1795 by Prussia and Austria in the west, and Russia in the east. Patryk and his young friends live in an isolated village, deep in the forest in the eastern Russian sector, and know little about the outside world. They do not even know that a war has started, until a German aeroplane drops a bomb on the schoolhouse. So begins a fight for control of the village between Russian soldiers and German soldiers.
At first, Patryk and his friends treat it all as a game and, innocently, begin a competition amongst themselves as to who can collect the best military button. But soon the horrors of war begin to envelope the village and turn their game into something dangerous and deadly, in which soldiers and children die. This is a moving, thought-provoking story which shows how innocent people's peaceful lives can be so quickly shattered by the escalating death and destruction caused by soldiers fighting a war that no-one understands.
A poignant and challenging account of a part of the war rarely written about or discussed.